Connective Tissue Flashcards Preview

Histology > Connective Tissue > Flashcards

Flashcards in Connective Tissue Deck (15):

Connective Tissue Function

  • Matrix serves as structural support and connects tissues and cells together to form organs
  • Metabolic support-diffusion of nutrients, waste products
  • defense against foreign objects
  • regulates cell-cell signaling by binding signaling molecules
  • composed mostly of extracellular material with few cells


Mesenchymal cells

  • undifferentiated cells that produce all types of tissue, contain stem cells
  • Give rise to
    • Fibroblasts
    • Lipoblasts



  • most common cells in connective tissue
  • produce and maintain collagen to form fibers
  • synthesize and secrete components of ground substance



  • give rise to adipocytes
  • tissue with large population of adipocytes also serves to cushion and insulate



  • removal of dead cells, tissue debris, bacteria, foreign objects
  • can activate immune response, secrete enzymes to breakdown tissues and GF's to promote repair and healing


Mast Cells

  • immune cell that stores chemical mediators for localized immune response and tissue repair
  • in blood vessels, tissue lining digestive, respiratory tract


Extracellular Matrix

  • Differs from basement membrane in specialization
  • contains collagen and elastin embedded in gel composed of proteoglycans, water, glycoproteins that bind to matrix proteins and membrane proteins


Collagen Fibers

  • Extremely strong, resistant to tears, most abundant in body
  • Multiple types: Fibrillar (ECM), network or sheet forming (basement membrane), Linking/Anchoring(basement membrane)
  • Dermis, organ capsules, tendons, ligaments 


Reticular Fibers

  • Delicate network of fibers that provide supportive stroma for bone marrow, lymph nodes, organs (liver, spleen)


Elastic Fibers

  • Form sparse networks interspersed with collagen bundles in tissue subject to stretching, bending
  • Lungs, aorta, blood vessels


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Loose areolar

  • wraps and cushions organs, macrophages phagocytize bacteria, inflammation
  • under epithilia, forms lamina propria of mucous membranes, packages organs, surrounds capillaries


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Loose Adipose

  • reserve food fuel, insulates against heat loss, supports and protects organs
  • under skin, kidneys, eyeballs, abdomen, breasts


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Loose Reticular

  • Stroma supports WBC's, mast cels, macrophages
  • lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen


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Dense Regular

  • attaches muscles to bones or to muscles, bones to bones, withstands stress in one direction
  • tendons, ligaments, aponeuroses


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Dense Irregular

  • Withstands tension in many directions
  • Organs, joints, dermis of skin, submucosa of digestive tract